Woman Dobbin, Christine Elizabeth (1941 - )

28 March 1941
Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England

Written by Sharon M. Harrison, The University of Melbourne

Christine Dobbin is a leader in the History profession, who has contributed in important ways to Asian political, religious and economic history.

Dobbin was born on 28 March 1941 in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England. Her parents were Bessie (née Proctor) and Henry Dobbin. She was educated at St Hilda's School in Durham City, in Erskineville Opportunity School, New South Wales, and in Fort Street Girls High School. Dobbin graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA (Hons) in 1961, receiving the University Medal. She was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship (1962-1965) and graduated from the University of Oxford with a BPhil in 1964, receiving the Robert Herbert Memorial Prize for Imperial and Commonwealth History. Dobbin was awarded an International Federation of University Women Travelling Fellowship (1966-1967) and a Lady Margaret Hall Commonwealth Scholarship, the University of Oxford (1966-1967). In 1967, she received a DPhil from the University of Oxford for her thesis The growth of urban leadership in Western India, with special reference to Bombay city, 1840-85.

After completing her doctoral studies Dobbin was appointed Assistant Lecturer at the University of Lancaster (1967-1968). From 1968 to 1973 she was a Research Fellow in Southeast Asian history at Australian National University (ANU). Dobbin was appointed Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at Flinders University (1973-1975). In 1976 she was a Visiting Fellow in Southeast Asian history at ANU. In 1988-1989 she was a Fellow-in-Residence at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. Between 1980 and 1996 Dobbin held various appointments in the Commonwealth Public Service. In 1996, she was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Dobbin was a Visiting Fellow at the ANU from 1996 until her retirement in 2011.

Her publications include: Islamic revivalism in a changing peasant economy: Asian entrepreneurial minorities: conjoint communities in the making of the world-economy 1570-1940 (1996); Central Sumatra, 1784-1847 (1983); Religions of Indonesia (1979); Urban leadership in Western India: politics and communities in Bombay city, 1840-1885 (1972); and Basic documents in the development of modern India and Pakistan, 1835-1947 (1970).

Dobbin has one daughter and two grandchildren.

Additional sources: Personal correspondence between Sharon M Harrison and Christine Dobbin, August 2013.

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